PONANT’s Le Commandant Charcot, the world’s only luxury icebreaker, reached the geographic North Pole, marking the first time for a luxury passenger vessel to bring travelers to the most northern point of the Earth’s axis of rotation.
An Expert In Expeditions
This is a highly symbolic achievement for PONANT as an expert in expeditions to the polar regions and the only cruise company sailing under the French flag. This follows Le Commandant Charcot’s first voyage to the North Pole in September 2021, the first French vessel to reach this latitude.
“It is with great humility, and emotion that we have reached this latitude, each of us aware of the exceptional character of this moment we have been living,” said Captain Patrick Marchesseau, at her helm.
PONANT has been a leader in responsible tourism for more than 30 years, and Le Commandant Charcot, which debuted in November 2021, is among the most environmentally friendly ships in the sea, powered by battery and liquified natural gas. When in battery mode, the ship is able to sail for up to eight hours at a time without producing any emissions. Le Commandant Charcot also serves as a floating research center with dedicated onboard laboratories, allowing scientific research teams access to these remote polar regions. Under the supervision of the team of naturalist guides and the onboard scientists, guests are also able to participate in citizen science experiments, helping set up a research station on an ice floe or deploying an Argos transmitter, a satellite-based system which collects and shares environmental data.
While off-ship excursions range from ice fishing and snowshoeing to polar diving and ice floating, the ship is designed to feel more like a yacht versus a traditional cruise ship.
The ship features 123 staterooms and suites, chef-crafted meals designed by Alain Ducasse, a wellness area in partnership with Biologique Recherche, and amenities like a snow room – chilled to 14 degrees Fahrenheit with fresh powder snow – as well as heated blue lagoon baths.